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Mississippi Gun Control Laws

Gun control laws can be a controversial topic. The Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns. However, there's much debate as to the extent that gun laws need to be regulated, what types of guns should be illegal (if any), and what types of individuals, such as those with serious mental illness, can lose the right to own firearms.

Mississippi has loose gun laws compared to most of the United States. The primary areas of contention are the state not requiring background checks before transferring guns between private parties, not prohibiting 50 caliber rifles and assault weapons, and not limiting the number of guns that can be purchased at one time.

The following table outlines the main gun control laws in Mississippi.

Relevant Statutes (Laws)

Illegal Arms

It's illegal to own the following firearms in Mississippi unless it's authorized under federal law:
  • Machine gun or fully automatic firearm
  • Short-barreled rifle less than 16 inches or a shotgun less than 18 inches
  • Silencer or muffler for guns
  • Toy pistols that can fire or make an explosion (cap pistols are expressly excepted)
  • Armor-piercing ammunition

Waiting Period

There is no waiting period to purchase a gun in Mississippi.

Who May Not Own

Several defined groups can't legally own guns in Mississippi, including:
  • Children and youth under 18 years old
  • People with a felony conviction (unless they have certificates of rehabilitation obtained through a court petition and expungement process)
  • Individuals who are chronically intoxicated
  • People who have voluntarily or involuntarily been committed to mental health facilities (unless recovered for at least 5 years)

License Required?

No, you don't need a license to purchase a firearm in Mississippi.

Concealed Carry License Required?

You don't need a permit to carry a concealed firearm as long as you:
  • Are not engaged in a criminal activity
  • Are not prohibited from owning a firearm under federal and state law
  • Are not carrying the firearm in prohibited places

Open Carried Allowed?

Yes, open carry is allowed in Mississippi.

Eligibility for a Concealed Carry License

In order to be eligible for a concealed carry license, you must:

  • Be a resident of the state unless an exception applies
  • Be 21 years of age or older
  • Desire a legal means to carry a firearm to defend yourself
  • Not be adjudicated mentally incompetent, or it has been five years since the court restored your mental capacity
  • Not be a chronic or habitual user of alcohol or controlled substances to the extent that your normal faculties are impaired
  • Not be voluntarily or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, unless you have a certificate from a psychiatrist who is licensed in Mississippi stating that you have not suffered from disability for five years
  • Not suffer from a physical infirmity that prevents you from safely handling a pistol or revolver
  • Not be convicted of a felony unless you were pardoned or unless the records were expunged
  • Not have any imposition of sentence suspended or adjudication of guilt withheld on any felony unless it has been three years since any conditions set by the court have been fulfilled
  • Not be a fugitive from justice
  • Must not be prohibited from owning a firearm under federal law

Machine Gun Laws

You can possess a machine gun in Mississippi if you register it in compliance with federal law.

Penalties for Illegal Firearm Possession

  • Possessing a firearm with a felony conviction is a felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
  • Possessing a prohibited weapon is an offense punishable by up to 1 year imprisonment and up to a $1,000 fine.
  • Selling, giving, or lending a firearm to a minor or an intoxicated person is a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

Penalties for Illegal Possession on or Near School Grounds

It's a felony punishable by up to 3 years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine for anyone to possess or carry an open or concealed firearm near or on school grounds.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Related Resources

If You Still Have Questions, Ask a Mississippi Attorney for Help

If you have questions about your gun rights, you should contact a Mississippi criminal defense lawyer. However, if you've been harmed by a gun, such as with a misfire or other problem, you can check with a product liability lawyer about your options.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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